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Prevent Illegal Dumping

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What Is Illegal Dumping?

The definition of illegal dumping in a dumpster – also known as fly-tipping or midnight dumping – is when people toss debris in your container without permission. Commercial bins for businesses and roll off dumpsters on construction sites or private properties can all be targeted. From “private dumpster” signs to locks, here are our tips to stop illegal dumping.

blue roll off dumpster full of heavy debris

6 Tips to Secure Your Front Load Bin

1. Lock Your Container

Ask your account manager about locks or gravity bars for extra security.

2. Place a Warning Sign

Notify strangers that your dumpster is for private use only and violators will be prosecuted.

3. Build an Enclosure

House your dumpster in a corral with a locked gate. Make sure to unlock your enclosure prior to service days.

4. Check Your Bin Daily

Instruct staff to note unexpected debris or oversized items and report it to you immediately.

5. Ask Your Neighbors

Check with other businesses who might share your bin or notice abnormal trash.

6. Install a Security Camera

If you expect illegal dumping, consider surveillance to catch the culprits.

6 Steps to Protect Your Roll Off Container

1. Light it Up

Place your dumpster in a well-lit area, either near existing streetlamps or with temporary lighting.

2. Cover the Bin

Place a tarp over your container when no one is working.

3. Fence Your Site

Add a locked, temporary fence around your job site to keep unwanted guests out.

4. Avoid Street Placement

If possible, keep your dumpster away from high-traffic areas.

5. Post a Warning Sign

Place signs on your fence and near the roll off bin to warn unwanted guests about illegal dumping fines.

6. Plan for Security

Consider installing security cameras or hiring night staff to monitor your site.

How to Report Illegal Use of Your Container

Depending on local and state regulations, someone caught in the act can face legal consequences, including fines and possible jail time. To stop others from dumping trash on your property, gather the following information and report it online or contact local authorities.


Note the exact address and placement of your container.

Date of incident

Provide the date and timeframe, if possible.

License plate number

Prioritize this information to help authorities identify the culprits.

Description of person/vehicle

Jot down specific physical features and clothing items along with the make and model of the vehicle.

What Are the Effects of Illegal Dumping?

If you’ve ever been a victim of illegal dumping, you know how frustrating it can be. Not only does their trash take up space in your bin, but you can be hit with additional charges in the following situations.

Exceeded Weight Limit

If your container surpasses the weight capacity on your rental agreement, you might see overage charges on your account.

Overloaded Containers

With strangers’ junk on top of your own daily trash, the container can fill up past the maximum capacity, resulting in overloading fees.

Prohibited Items

Others might be unaware of the debris allowed in your container. If they toss prohibited materials, the landfill can charge extra to safely sort the waste.

More Waste Tips for Your Operation

From container placement to waste strategies for your business or job site, check out our blog for more industry tips.